Thursday, October 25, 2007

Heifer, Soaring Bird, and Old LP's

Moving away from my grumpy opinions of church, let's see what fun this week has brought......

I've survived TWO steer sortings, managing not to get trampled or do anything to get yelled at for. Hooray! One big galoot got away from us on Monday, but it wasn't my fault-----he just wanted to live a bit longer!

Tuesday I colored my hair.....exciting, yes. As long as I can cover the gray easily and with little cost, I will keep doing it. Clairol Natural Instincts is the coloring I use and have been satisfied always with the results. It costs me about $7 every three months, and takes about 30 minutes to do. Not a problem, in my opinion. Some folks might argue that I should just leave my hair alone, that God wants me to be gray, but I would argue that God must also want me to tolerate blurry vision from the nearsighted eyes He gave me. For that I wear corrective lenses.

Recently, we've had several new heifer calves to think of names for. The mothers' names are Chess, Buttercup, Muffy, and Solstice, so we chose these names for the calves: Miss Muffet, Yahtzee, Eclipse, and Yogurt-----you can probably figure out who belongs to who.

Last evening we had to have the veterinarian out for a rare visit-----a first calf heifer named Mildred was having trouble calving. The vet examined her and said she had a twisted uterus. I watched as he reached inside her to attach chains to the calf's feet. Then he attached the chains to a rod which he then twisted around for awhile to accomplish untwisting the uterus. It looked painful for the heifer, but she just stood there chewing hay as if nothing was going on. When the vet was done, he said her cervix needed to dilate overnight, and then he left. Later, after chores and supper, Husband went back out to the barn to check on her and found the calf's feet coming, but the head bent down backwards. He was quite sure the calf was dead, but it needed to come out soon for the sake of the mother. So he called the vet back out. Ouch......we will have a big vet bill coming! Yes, the calf, a bull, was stillborn, but Mildred is doing fine this morning, thankfully, and milked well.

Yesterday, we baled big round cornstalk bales. I drove the AC 8030 tractor pulling the stalk chopper......a fairly easy task with no need to worry about using hydraulic levers when turning on the ends of the field, since the chopper can stay at one level. So I zoned out to the radio tunes blaring in the noisy cab. One of the first songs was one I haven't heard for years, "Alone Again, Naturally", by Gilbert O'Sullivan. It was from the late 70's, I think. It's a sad song, and I did cry a little today as I listened to it. It seems to me that the singer took his own life eventually, but I will need to look that up to be sure.

When I was finished with the rows that needed chopping, then I had to switch to the John Deere 630 to run the rake to gather the stalks together for the baler to pick up. That required me to go back to the house and fetch my winter coat, since the 630 is a cabless tractor, of course. It was a lovely, sunny day, but the north wind was cool and brisk, making for a very invigorating experience. Needless to say, I slept very well last night!

Before starting the fieldwork yesterday, I took my daily walk. After sorting through some jeans the other day and finding several pairs that are just too tight around the waist, I have renewed incentive to take longer walks (and hopefully eat less). As I headed down the field drive, far up above was a large, soaring bird. Probably a hawk. His outstretched wings were completely still and he was gliding effortlessly to and fro on invisible wind currents. For a time, he seemed to glide in big figure 8's, and then in spirals, all the time never once flapping his wings at all. It was amazing to watch. How wonderful that would be to have such moments, soaring high, effortlessly, on invisible support. Of course, the bird had to use his own wing power to get up to the level of the wind current he was enjoying.

For the rest of my walk I tried to apply these thoughts to human experiences in life. The invisible wind current is like the invisible God that we believe in, supporting us as we float along in life. Of course, He gives us our "wing power", but we have to make choices to make the effort to follow that upward path to where the true support (salvation, sacraments, whatever) is.

Watching that bird up there reminded me of a song I hadn't thought of in years....."Let Everything Else Go", by Phil Keaggy. Later in the day, when I had time, I rummaged in a cabinet to find my stash of old vinyl LP's. Yep, there it was, on the album entitled "Town to Town" (1981, Sparrow), with a cover photo of Keaggy's band trying to get into an old yellow cab in a rainstorm.

"Let Everything Else go" by Phil Keaggy
Chasing down hot air balloons
On Sunday morn
In pace with a familiar tune
I reach for nothing less
Than something more
All the day
And the wind is at my back
Most of the way
Holding conversation with a friend
I know is there
Great anticipation fills my soul
It fills my heart
It fills the air
All the day
And the wind is at my back
Oh, I can't wait to see you Jesus
Face to face
Nothing in this world
Can take your place
All the pride of man laid low
And all his works of gold
Nothing can compare with what you are
Let everything else go
Let it go
Anyway, its a nice little song, and the words of the chorus are worth remembering. Years ago, I liked this song well enough to buy the album. Back then I listened to contemporary Christian music quite a bit. In my old LP collection there are several Evie albums, a couple Amy Grant, an Andrew Culverwell, and a Chris Christian, among others. Probably, I should relisten to them while I still own a working record turntable.

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